Top 10 Most Emerging Technologies

Emerging Technologies

Introduction

Ever since humankind discovered fire, progress has been in the pipeline – unobtrusive, unheralded, and slow but always ongoing. Before NASA could send a man to the Moon, silent but humongous and painstaking efforts were the order of the day.

The focus of technology here was to discover a light composite material to reduce weight, increase maneuverability at extremely high altitudes, and yet totally safe.

Top 10 Emerging Technologies

1. 5G Networks

5G is a 5th generation global mobile network, progress from 1G just a few years ago. The technology is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything which includes machines, objects, and various devices in use at present, and deliver an overall better performance with improved efficiency, and more uniform user experiences. The versatility built into 5G would do a variety of things that can transform lives, including low latency, faster download speeds, and more capacity and connectivity for billions of devices—especially in the areas of VR,  IoT, and AI). 

2. Artificial Intelligence(AI):

It could be best described as injecting human intelligence into a machine that is programmed to “think” like a human being and mimic human functions. The process by which this becomes possible is called “algorithms.” In technical terms, an algorithm is a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem. In simple terms, it is like inputting a recipe for a cake and when followed strictly delivers the cake. AI functions by combining large amounts of data with fast, repetitive processing. The algorithm is the intelligence (software) that guides the machine to function automatically from patterns or features in the data. What finally makes for success is a blending of humans and machines since, in the beginning, the algorithm may need to be “tweaked” to deliver desired results.

3. Internet of Things (IoT):

The simplest application of IoT technology is in “smart homes. It deals with appliances and devices such as lighting fixtures, thermostats, heating and cooling machines,  home security devices, and a plethora of home appliances embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.  All these devices/appliances are remote-controlled by programming them as required.   The remote control is your smartphone.  The industry is poised for immense benefits from IoT. The flip side of this most emerging technology is serious security concerns in areas of privacy and security.   

4. Edge Computing:

The word edge in this context denotes a geographic distribution. Edge computing is done at or near the source of the data, instead of relying on the cloud or at one of the many data centers that do the work. Edge computing is a way to move data processing closer to the point of work, e.g., closer to IoT devices. An outstanding feature of edge computing technology is improved network performance by reducing latency – an important benefit.  The speed of  5G  would enhance the efficiency of the application. 

5. Server less Computing:

Strictly speaking, the nomenclature “Server less” is misleading. Servers do exist for providing backend services. The beneficiary does not need to have a server on his premises since space and infrastructure are handled by the service provider. There is a saving of costs and administration hassles, and with “auto-scaling” you pay for what you get. In the initial days of the web, building a web application entailed physically owning the necessary hardware which is expensive and cumbersome. Here the application is divided into 2 parts – the frontend – what users see and work with. The backend is what is not visible to the users – the server where the application’s files are present along with the users’ database and the business logic. 

6. Quantum Computing:

The quantum computer operates with a 2-qubit language. Simply put: you load the data and a solution is the output. Quantum computers are machines that use quantum physics to store data and do calculations based on the probability of the state of the object before it is measured. Classical computers use binary code, i.e., 0 or 1 whereas quantum computers use “2-qubit.” i.e., 0 or 1 & 0 and 1. This configuration gives quantum computers the ability to vastly outperform the best supercomputers. With the phenomenal growth in computing power, quantum computers are ideal to speedily handle and solve complex problems which would be impossible for classical computers. Quantum computers could be profitably used  in:

a.       IT Industry – artificial intelligence, machine learning, cybersecurity, etc.

b.       Science – computational chemistry.

c.       Pharmaceutical Industry – development & design of drugs.

d.       Generally for financial modeling, optimize logistics, weather forecasting, etc.

7Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR):

AR enhances a real-life photo shot from your smartphone by overlaying computer-generated images as desired by you.  An example of an AR experience would include Snapchat lenses & the Game Pokemon on the Street. VR, on the other hand, is a simulated experience that can be like a real-life experience or completely different from real life. Applications of virtual reality would include games as well as educational applications, medical or military training purposes. You are now in the fantasy world limited only by your imagination or limited by the device you are using. Examples of such devices are HTC Vive, Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality, etc.

8. Biometrics:

Biometrics is the application of statistical analysis to biological data. It is a process of capturing a person’s physiological characteristics viz., fingerprint, iris patterns, facial features, voice recognition, retina scan, keystroke dynamics, and, sometimes even, signature recognition for identification. While fingerprint and iris patterns are unique and immutable, the storage of these parameters in the biometrics system leaves much to be desired.  

Biometrics are used extensively in India for Aadhaar identification, mobile phone connections, authentication, the grant of visas, etc.

Finger vein recognition, in Biometrics,  is a process that accesses the individual’s vein pattern inside one’s finger; the infra-red lights combined with a special camera captures the image of finger vein patterns. Finger vein patterns remain constant to the end.

9. Robotics Process Automation (RPA):

Robots are the rage in the field of movies and pop culture. Here we restrict ourselves to the industrial scene. Robotics is the technical interplay of science, engineering, and technology that produces machines, called robots. Primarily, these are used for repetitive human tasks. Robots, when judiciously employed could do tasks that are not easily possible for human beings and/or difficult to access or are dangerous. So, there is an interplay of efficiency, safety, and economics. The four basic types of robots in the industry are Articulate, SCARA, Delta, and Gantry – different construction and used differently for different purposes. RPA is the nomenclature for an intelligent bundling of technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Natural Language, to name just a few. This facilitates the automation of front office, middle office, and back-office processing as well as IT operations. Routine business functions that are prone to human error could be profitably assigned through RPA allotting smarter assignments to staff.  Successful automation ensures the reduction of fixed costs, the propensity for human errors, and quicker response time.

 10. Drones Autonomous:

Drones are referred to as UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles. Unmanned means there is no human in the UAV but controls are in the hands of a human on the ground. Though it is self-flying, it is not autonomous. A true autonomous  UAV flight does not take place until the UAV or the flight system decides where and when to fly without direct human intervention. Impossible, as it may sound, some progress in on the anvil. Currently, work is in progress with a built-in feature – RTH, which simply means Return to Home. This is a sort of  GPS that registers its take-off location and then returns it to that location. Experiments have been conducted where such a UAV narrows down on its coordinates on the return flight landing within a foot of its launch point.  While specific algorithms are being worked out, legal hurdles may need to be overcome. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) defines an autonomous aircraft as “an unmanned aircraft that does not allow pilot intervention in the management of the flight – it is unlikely that any unmanned aircraft could be designed not to have any human intervention.

Conclusion

Fire, when first discovered by humankind, was “technology” successfully implemented. Since then the evolution of technology proceeds unabated; today emerging technologies are blossoming freely.  Technology is constantly expanding and is positively disrupting every sector, changing perceptions, challenging established processes, and norms. The 10 emerging technologies dealt with here are but a few of the emerging technologies of the day.

Consequently, there is a shortage of the right people in the tech industry. Tech companies are hiring not only techies but a host of other professionals for marketing and product development functions.

A Bachelor’s Degree in various Tech disciplines could be an entry-level opportunity. Hands-on experience followed by a Master’s Degree in a specialized field of operation should ensure steady career graph advancement. Online courses are also available in Technology, Machine Learning, Software Programming, Data Science, etc. Current remuneration for a senior position ranges from    $ 100,000 pa onwards.   The current projection for 5G alone is US$ 13.2 trillion global economic growth,22.3 million jobs, and US$2.1 trillion GDP growth by 2035.  Depending on aptitude, attitude, and inventiveness, the sky is the limit.         

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